all photographs are taken by me unless otherwise noted.
© charlotte woolf
Lady Blue, the Crusade’s 1977 VW bus, driving up the Pacific Coast Highway last spring
Jennifer Schwartz is the creator and director of Crusade for Art, a non-profit organization focused on cultivating demand for art, specifically fine art photography. Schwartz previously owned a fine art photography gallery in Atlanta, Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, showcasing the work of emerging photographers. She also created the online project, The Ten, and is the co-creator of Flash Powder Projects. Schwartz believes in empowering photographers to be innovative and create audiences for their work. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she has her BA from Colgate University and her MA from Georgia State University. Schwartz regularly participates in portfolio reviews such as PhotoNOLA, PhotoLucida, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, FotoFest, Medium, Filter Photo and others. She was invited as a curator to the Lishui Photo Festival in Lishui, China in 2011 and travels around the country giving talks, guest-lecturing at universities, leading workshops and hosting photographic retreats with Flash Powder Projects. In the Spring of 2013, she traveled around the country in a 1977 VW bus, engaging audiences with photography.
Interview by Lauren Goldstein
David Hilliard: Chums, 2011
Lauren Goldstein: I noticed that all of your projects thus far - Jennifer Schwartz Gallery and now Crusade for Art - focus on promoting the advancement of artists, particularly photographers. What made you fall in love with photography in the first place?
Jennifer Schwartz: I make photographs, I collect photographs, I love photographs. I believe that art makes life beautiful, and I am passionate about spreading that message and giving people an opportunity to connect to art.
Photography is the perfect medium to appeal to the would-be collector. It is contemporary, and it is accessible (both in price and in technique). We understand photography. We know how it is done, and we appreciate its fresh, modern, and visually stimulating takes on our world. We can look at an image and be amazed that someone was able to use a camera – a piece of equipment we all own and use – to create something that moves us so powerfully. Most photography is also affordable. A painting or sculpture by a mid-career artist would be significantly more expensive than a photograph by a photographer with the same level of recognition and exposure.
LG: Who are your favorite photographers?
JS: I couldn’t possibly begin to determine my favorite photographers, but I can tell you about some of the more recent additions to my photography collection. My newest piece (so new, it is still being printed and framed) is a David Hilliard piece I have loved for years. I also just bought a photograph from Rod Fincannon, from his Boy Scouts and Indians project. Other new photographs include ones by Brandon Thibodeaux, Katie Koti, Jared Soares, Joshua Meier and Amelia Morris. I am obsessed with photography, and proud of it.